Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I started feeling the anxiety as we were waiting in the office, we were early of course. I closed my eyes and prayed:
Please calm my spirit. Take my worry from me. Let me say the words that I need to say and let me not say the words that I don't' need to say. Let us remember that it's all about You Lord. Let this glorify Your name.
"Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act." Psalm 37:7
Well I've typed this out once and lost it. So here it goes again.
In a word, we were "IMPRESSED". We met with the learning support specialist, the guidance counselor and the four subject teachers.
The Social Studies teacher carried the meeting. She is also Amanda's homeroom teacher. She said she is going beyond what is stated on the 504 plan. It takes many prompts to get Amanda moving. This is first period. Amanda is distracted by everything: her pencil, the sound of the heater, the bird that flew in to the window. Is another bird going to fly in to the window? Is that bird ok? Can I check on the bird? . She works with Amanda during her lunch period. Amanda works on unfinished class work and is given partial credit. Amanda's grade has gone from a D to a C in just a few weeks. This is Amanda's favorite teacher.
The Learning Support Specialist spoke next. She co-teachers with the math teacher. She also has Amanda on Monday afternoons for homework club. She has helped Amanda organize her binders and gave us great information and tips about getting organized.
The Science teacher said that her grade of an F is now a D. Mostly, she has not been doing homework or classwork and the grade has come down. But she is raising her hand and worked very well with a partner. And, he said it was not all one sided. Amanda held her own with the partner.
The Math teacher said Amanda was raising her hand to participate and doing well. Her F is now a D.
The English teacher said Amanda does the announcements and can't believe how talented she is as a speaker for only being in 6th grade.
We sat there listening, asking questions and were pleasantly surprised. Not surprised that our daughter has made a good impression on the teachers. But I think we were surprised that this is the first time that they were against medication. They are doing everything needed to make sure that Amanda can get the job done. They don't know the long term effects of medication so if not needed then why have her on it.
Anyway, I have to get moving. Now that I have typed this twice, I will be late if I don't go now.
May you see the Son shine on this dreary day. He is just behind that cloud. You don't have to look for Him, because He is not hiding. He just wants you to acknowledge Him. Take the time from your To-Do list and thank Him for all He has done for you. I have!
"Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act." Psalm 37:7
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Today was our meeting with the team of teachers. Amanda has five teachers and the guidance counselor was present as well.
Each one received a document that we put together. Here it is:
We would like to introduce ourselves and give you a picture of our home life. We want you to get to know us, because we are going to get to know you.
(Then we stated our education and work credentials.)
The day begins with breakfast. Amanda is not permitted to leave without eating first. We make dinner each night. Our family does not eat fast food because:
1. It is costly.
2. It is not healthy.
Amanda's diet is a typical one for an eleven year old. She eats fish, chicken and pork. No beef. She has an occasional vegetable but prefers fruit. She loves carbs. We have experimented with her diet by taking her off of all gluten and wheat products. No change in behavior was exhibited.
Adequate rest is very important to our family. The children are upstairs at 7:30 pm to brush their teeth. They are permitted to play for 30 minutes. Lights out at 8 pm. The exception to this is Sunday and Thursday nights. Those are the only two school nights that Amanda has an activity. She is in bed by 8:30 at the latest on those nights. On the weekend, the children are allowed to stay up until 9:30 pm.
1. Wake at 6:15 am
2. Rise at 6:30 am
5. Exit at 7:30 am
As you can see we are very structured.
The television during the week is almost never on. When it is on, it is moderated closely. The children are permitted to watch The Disney Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery and Food Network. The children are not allowed on the computer during the week.
We do not have Wii, Playstation or Nintendo DS.
We have visited medication on numerous occasions and continue to experiment with drug types and dosage.
1. Third grade - Adderall 10 mg
2. Fourth grade - Adderall 10 mg, 15 mg and 20 mg
3. Fifth grade - Adderall 10 mg and Concerta 18 mg
4. Sixth grade - Concerta 18 mg
Amanda is under the care of our pediatric group. They are consulted on a regular basis. Currently we are in the process of increasing the Concerta dosage.
Amanda has been observed by two psychologists outside of school. She was evaluated in second and fifth grade by the school psychologist. She was also evaluated by the school psychiatrist in fifth grade.
For a brief time last year, we hired a tutor.
Currently Amanda said she does not love nor hate school. She knows she is there to learn and hopes to have fun while doing it.
We have set the bar very low for Amanda. We ask that she try her hardest and do her best. When Amanda brings home a 72%, it is equivalent to an A in our home. We celebrate all grades. We encourage her no matter what the paper says. We could not love her any more or any less if she was a straight A student.
Amanda's self-esteem is low. Her two best friends received the Presidential Award last year for straight A's . She recntly was completing math homework, and we visibly saw the information click. She was beaming. It almost brought tears to our eyes to see what a little encouragement could do for her self-esteem.
We are afraid that with the No Child Left Behind, that Amanda will fall between the cracks and just be pushed on to be the next teacher's burden.
We do not feel that the 504 plan is improving her academic performance. She has not passed math since the fourth grade. What are you prepared to do now?
Oh, the Son is shining on this rainy Tuesday. And I am physically and emotionally exhausted from either the build-up of the meeting or the recent illnesses that have been circling. So...I am going to take a nap on my day off. I'll have the teacher's response later.
If you haven't guessed from "the Son is shining" comment, it went well!
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
That's right. It's me again. My fisherman set the alarm for 5 am but got up before that and forgot to turn it off. So I finally got up at 6, realizing I wasn't going back to sleep. I am listening to KLove and enjoying the quiet while it lasts.
Last weekend (October 2-4) was the Women's Retreat at Sandy Cove. Jeannette was suppose to go but at the last minute, plans got changed and she wasn't able to make it. God knew that. He had her ticket reserved for a special co-worker of mine. I only knew this person casually, small talk. But after the weekend, we bonded. I know that Jeannette will go next time, if it is God's will. No worries, little sister. I love you!
Damaris Carbaugh was the speaker. I saw her perform two years ago and just loved her. Her pores ooze the love of Jesus. It is incredible. She is a great speaker.
Two years ago, it was all about Ray. I didn't make it that way. God did. My friend and I prayed all weekend for him. We shared his story with other women and they prayed with us.
I was wondering how this retreat would differ. And it did. It wasn't about Ray. It was about my relationship with my daughter. That's where my heart is. And the words that Damaris spoke...well God gave those to her, for me.
It's hard to tell you about the weekend. You just have to experience a retreat where over 400 women are there because they love the Lord. But I am going to try and condense it for you. (It may end up as another post if this gets too long).
Journal Entry October 8, 2009
I am an emotional wreck. But aren't I always? I am praying about Homeschooling again. Amanda's interim grades came today:
Health - B
English - C
Social Studies - D
Science - F
Math - F
She said, "See, I'm not failing everything". Help me love her God for who she is! We've been struggling for many years. Third grade was the 1st year on Adderall. She excelled. But that was the only year she did well. I am so torn up. Amanda is not failing. The system is failing her. She is a square peg that they are trying to fit into a round hole. Lord, take me back to Sandy Cove. Remind me of all that I've learned.
OUR LIFE'S CALLING TO GLORIFY GOD
Even our sufferings should glorify the LORD. Am I suffering? I am agonizing over this decision. I am trying to figure it all out. But I'm not suffering like the moms who have kids with cancer.
I was made to make God look lovely. My purpose is to know Christ and make Him known. AND to love Christ and love each other.
Journal Entry October 3, 2009
I want to thank you for one more day on this Earth to learn more about You. Thank you for my family and my wonderful husband who worked out final details for me to come. Thank you for the opportunity to spend time with so many unique women - all who have one common thread - the love of You.
Father, help me to trust You more, to let go of my controlling nature. Let me leave all my baggage in a true leap of faith. I want to know You more.
Soften my heart. Show me the compassion - let me understand it completely - what You did for me. So that I may guide my daughter. In Jesus name, AMEN.
I meant to look up a pasage about compassion but found one about fear. Romans 8:15
This is what I was really looking for: You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. Luke 6:36
Then I went to the Saturday session. "Thank Him for the situation." We discussed Ephesians 5:20. He is a patient God. Aren't you glad? Heck yes! I need to be patient too. Then Damaris said something that I had never heard said before, "God never stopped being God. He emptied himself and came down. He humbled himself and was obedient. He agonzied and prayed all night before he CHOSE Judas." He knew. He knew Judas would betray Him. But He still chose Him out of obedience.
"Jesus learned obedience by the things he sufferend: Sometimes we pray about how long we have to put up with something or SOMEONE. LOL. And God says "How long must I put up with YOU?" My grace is sufficient. (2 Corinthians 12:9) MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT.
Jesus' suffering was for me so that I can be free and learn how to suffer like Him. That is, suffer yet still be joyful.
Then we talked about happiness. Happiness requires something to happen. Joy is really what we are looking for. Because we are going to have trials. We need to know how to have joy in our hearts while going through the situation. In order to do that, we have to 'die to self' daily. "Your cross is where you die daily to whatever you dream of". Then she said that if we thought our husband, children, job, etc was our cross, we were missing the point.
God wants us to pursue nothing but Him. He wants us to go down, humble ourselves and love people more. God wants us to BELIEVE more than anything.
"Remove the fear of surrending to You, Lord. Let me yield".
I'm going to stop with my retreat notes here. Session 3 can wait. Let me get back to Homeschooling. Amanda is suffering. She is the one, not me. I just hate to see her like this. Her two best friends are straight A students. One sits in front of the t.v. and does her homework. (And I am not criticizing this. I love her girlfriend!) Amanda sits in the kitchen in silence. I just want you to see that she isn't goofing off and failing. She really is trying.
So Homeschooling comes to my mind again. I lay in bed and try to figure out how that would work with my job. I change diapers at work and try to figure out the details. I lay next to a little boy and rub his back during nap and try to figure it all out. I am a control FREAK.
Can you pray for us? We meet on October 27th with the team of teachers. Thank you, friends.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6
This is the verse of the day on BibleGateway I love how that happens!
Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.”-
I thought that after the exhausting month of September and the flea issue, I just couldn't get more tired. But I am. This is a mental tired. My mind just never shuts off.
If you haven't heard the story, here it is in a nutshell. Our in-door, never-leave-the-house-for-a-second Cat, had fleas. I took her in August to the vet. She was treated with Frontline and Capstar. They were back in a few days. I treated the carpets for 24 hours. I washed the cat TWICE. Ha, yes, washed the cat. It should have been on youtube! The fleas were laughing at us.
I prayed, I cried out to the LORD asking him to tell me how this situation was glorifing Him. And He said, "You try so hard with all your works to control the situation. And you are tired and nothing has changed. Go to the Big Man and be done". I kid you not. That was my prayer. And that was God's answer. I called Orkin the next day. Reilly went to the kitty hotel at Petsmart. Orkin came and sprayed. Then the service guy said vacuum for the next 7 to 10 days.
I am a slob! I do not vacuum my house. I clean the kitchen. I do the laundry. I make the beds. I do not vacuum the house. I vacuum the living room on Saturday mornings. We have six rooms with carpet. So each night before we went to bed, I vacuumed the upstairs rooms and my love did the downstairs.
Amanda has seen 1 flea since. I didn't see it. It could have been a regular old bug or a nat. But I think that the Bionic Fleas are gone. Whew.
What I learned from the situation is really simple: Take all your worries to the LORD, immediately. He will work out the details. I am so glad that God is control of my life. And that's huge for this control freak.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6